I can't seem to stabalize my water parameters

Discussion in 'Water Changes' started by butterfly48, Jul 8, 2015.

  1. b

    butterfly48 New Member Member

    I have 3 freshwater aquariums 5 gallon, 20 gallon, and 55 gallon.

    The 20 gallon has been set up for 3 years now. I recently moved and have had trouble keeping the parameters stable. At my previous home the water was extremely hard and the PH was always around 8.4 however everything else was stable. Since I moved I haven't really tested the tanks other than the first 2 weeks after moving. ( I know, I'm really horrible) My mom recently decided that she wanted me to set up my 55 gallon tank again so I started cycling it (fishless). Thus I started testing all of my tanks again and to my surprise my water was fairly bad. I did some water changes and tried to get everything under control but I just can't seem to get it stable. The 20 gallon has had the same filter for 3 years and I swish the filter media in old aquarium water to save the bacteria. The filter has been acting up so I bought another one along with one for my 55 gallon (both Fluval Aquaclear) for the 20 gallon I bought the one for 30 gallons and up and for the 55 I bought the 75 and up. All the reviews said they did great and I liked the flow adjustment on them. I left the old filter in for a week to help establish the bacteria. Prior to that the water parameters were all over the place and unstable (still are). I did water changes daily to keep the Nitrates from getting too high (to no avail). I tested my tap and found the nitrates to be at 40ppm. So, knowing that I bought some Seachem DeNitrate media and placed it in all of the tanks. For the 5 gallon (which houses my betta) I have a nano filter and it's too small to add carbon and the denitrate so I have both in a mesh bag hidden in a nook in my driftwood. After adding the denitrate I tested the water a few days later and found them prefect in the 5 gallon. Did a water change because my driftwood is still tainting the water, tested it the next morning...no longer perfect.
    I thought maybe it worked on the 5 gallon and not the other was because of the faster filtering rate with the media being inside the filters instead of simply sitting in the water. So I turned both the Fluval filters to the slowest they could go, but it still didn't work.

    I did have to treat my fish with a cure all a few months ago since my old betta was in a breeder net in the 20 gallon (he was blind) (he eventually died in my quarantine tank) is it possible the medication messed up my bio-filter and that's why my water parameters are all over the place?


    Here are the test results for all the tanks for the past few weeks.


    5 gallon
    1 Betta fish with driftwood and silk plants, bare bottom tank with a few moon rocks scattered throughout

    [TABLE]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl69"]Date[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl64"]Temperature[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65, width: 128"]Ammonia[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl66, width: 127"]Nitrite[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl67, width: 130"]Nitrate[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl68, width: 127"]PH[/TD]
    [TD="width: 191"][/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl70"]20-Jun-15[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl63"]81 F[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl63"].25 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl63"]5 + ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl63"]30 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl63"]7.4[/TD]
    [TD][/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl70"]21-Jun-15[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl63"]79 F[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl63"].15 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl63"]6 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl63"]50 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl63"]7[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl63"]10% water change[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl70"]23-Jun-15[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl63"]78 F[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl63"]o ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl63"]6 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl63"]40 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl63"]7[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl63"]20% water change[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl70"]24-Jun-15[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl63"]81 F[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl63"]0 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl63"]6 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl63"]40 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl63"]7[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl63"]10% water change[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl70"]25-Jun-15[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl63"]80 F[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl63"]0 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl63"]6 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl63"]40 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl63"]7[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl63"]10% water change[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl70"]26-Jun-15[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl63"]78 F[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl63"]0 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl63"]6 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl63"]40 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl63"]7[/TD]
    [TD][/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl70"]27-Jun-15[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl63"]78 F[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl63"].05 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl63"]1 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl63"]20 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl63"]6.7[/TD]
    [TD][/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl70"]7-Jul-15[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl63"]75 F[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl63"]0 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl63"]0 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl63"]0 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl63"]7.2[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl63"]50% water change (tanin)[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl70"]8-Jul-15[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl63"][/TD]
    [TD="class: xl63"].25 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl63"]6 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl63"]6 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl63"]7[/TD]
    [TD][/TD]
    [/TR]
    [/TABLE]


    20 Gallon
    1 Dojo Loach, 1 African Dwarf Frog, 1 Ghost Shrimp, 18 White Clouds. Mixture of silk plants and plastic with sand substrate.

    [TABLE]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl71"]Date[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl66"]Temperature[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl67, width: 129"]Ammonia[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl68, width: 129"]Nitrite[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl69, width: 128"]Nitrate[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl70, width: 128"]PH[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65, width: 191"][/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl72"]17-Jun-15[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]77 F[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"].50 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]0 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]40 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]7.8[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"][/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl72"]18-Jun-15[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]76 F[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]1 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"].50 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]40 - 80 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]7.4[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"][/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl72"]20-Jun-15[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]76 F[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"].25 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"].25 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]40 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]7.4[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]50% water change[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl72"]21-Jun-15[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]76 F[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"].50 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]2 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]40 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]7.4[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]50% water change[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl72"]23-Jun-15[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]76 F[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]0 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]0 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]30 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]7.4[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]10 % water change[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl72"]24-Jun-15[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]76 F[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]0 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]0 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]40 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]7.4[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]added water[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl72"]25-Jun-15[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]77 F[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]0 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]0 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]80 - 90 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]7.4[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]50% water change[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl72"]26-Jun-15[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]76 F[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]0.15 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]1 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]60 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]7.4[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"][/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl72"]27-Jun-15[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]77 F[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]0 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]0 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]40 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]7.4[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"][/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl72"]7-Jul-15[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]76 F[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]0 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]0 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]80 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]7.4[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]45% water change[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl72"]8-Jul-15[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"][/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"].50 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]5 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]40 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]7.4[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"][/TD]
    [/TR]
    [/TABLE]


    55 Gallon
    No fish yet. Sand Substrate with minimum plastic plants and moon rocks as well as 2- 21in bubble wands.

    [TABLE]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl71"]Date[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl66"]Temperature[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl67, width: 127"]Ammonia[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl68, width: 128"]Nitrite[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl69, width: 129"]Nitrate[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl70, width: 129"]PH[/TD]
    [TD="width: 127"][/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl72"]24-Jun-14[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"][/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"].50 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]6 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]40 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]7.6[/TD]
    [TD][/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl72"]25-Jun-15[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]77 F[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]0 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]6 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]60 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]7.4[/TD]
    [TD][/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl72"]26-Jun-15[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]76 F[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"].05 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]7 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]30 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]7.3[/TD]
    [TD][/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl72"]27-Jun-15[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]77 F[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]7 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]7 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]70 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]7.4[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]40% water change[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl72"]7-Jul-15[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]76 F[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"].15 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]7 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]5 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]7.4[/TD]
    [TD][/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl72"]8-Jul-15[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"][/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]4 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]6 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]80 ppm[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]7.4[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"]30% water change[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl65"][/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"][/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"][/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"][/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"][/TD]
    [TD="class: xl65"][/TD]
    [TD][/TD]
    [/TR]
    [/TABLE]

    I'm not all that worried about the 55 gallon since there are no fish in there yet. But I am worried about the other two tanks. I'm not sure what I can do other than get RODI water which I would have to drive over an hour to get.

    Does anyone have any ideas about what's going on?
     
  2. Dom90

    Dom90 Fishlore VIP Member

    It seem you are going through mini-cycles in each of your tanks. What I would do is grab a bottle of Seachem Stabililty and follow the directions on the bottle. For three tanks, I think you'll need at least 500 mL or maybe two bottles.
     
  3. Bijou88

    Bijou88 Well Known Member Member

    I agree, sounds like mini cycles. Stability might be a good idea at this point. Also, if your nitrite gets above 5ppm or so it stalls the cycle so you'll want to try and keep it low.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
     




  4. Matt68046

    Matt68046 Valued Member Member

    nah your going way OVERBOARD on worrying about water quality. I would have thrown some feeder goldfish in that tank and some stress zyme and cycled it in 10-14 days.
     
  5. Dom90

    Dom90 Fishlore VIP Member

    Right, forgot to read that nitrites are above 5 ppm. If they are, you will to do a couple water changes to get it back to an actual reading, or your cycle can stall.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    b

    butterfly48 New Member Member

    Thanks guys! I appreciate it! I'll keep doing water changes until I can get some Stability, hopefully it won't take too long to get everything back to normal! :D
     
  7. hampalong

    hampalong Well Known Member Member

    Nitrites above 5 will not stall a cycle. For decades we used to use Seamature to cycle (now called Biomature). Ammonia gets to 5, nitrites get to 15. Cycle completes in 2-3 weeks. No bacteria added.

    Turn all your filters up to the maximum and leave them there. What are the actual stated flow rates of the filters? Ignore tank size ratings completely, they give minimal filtration. On a 55 I would have a filter that does about 500 an hour, because when it's full of media it will do about 300 an hour, which turns over the tank every 10 minutes or so....
     
  8. OP
    OP
    b

    butterfly48 New Member Member

    The one I have for the 20 is rated for 150 gph and the one for the 55 is rated for 300 gph. I do currently have the 55g filter set on high after I did today's water change. However, for the 20g the highest I can go is medium otherwise my white clouds get too stressed out (most of them are still pretty small).
     
  9. Dom90

    Dom90 Fishlore VIP Member

    I am sorry to say but the filter for the 55 is underrated. You want 8-10x.


    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
     
  10. Bijou88

    Bijou88 Well Known Member Member

    I'd say that's a little low for the 55 too. You can make a baffle for the 20g, that way you can keep it on full blast without disturbing your fish.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
     
  11. Bijou88

    Bijou88 Well Known Member Member

    This is what I use for my betta tank, suction cup soap dish with holes in the bottom and aquarium glass. Works great. Costs about $4.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
     

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